Celebrating a very Proud Métis Elder

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May 11, 2018, marked a very proud moment for Métis Elder Alma McKinley and Métis Nation President Clara Morin Dal Col as Alma recieved her Métis Nation BC Citizenship Card and was presented with her very first Sash by MNBC President.

Alma Bernadette Mcfeeters – Mckinley was born May 18th, 1925 In La Goff, Alberta.  Daughter of Adelaide Nee Tourangeau and James Mcfeeters Adelaide was of Cree and French Descent James was of Cree and Scottish Descent. Alma was #6 of 13 Children-Alma lived on a farm in Beaver- dam, Alberta Off of the reservation
She remembers attending several Treaty Celebrations on the reserve.  Where the family would pitch a tent and attend the festivities!

She remembers life on the farm, they had chickens, raised hogs, and had 2- 1-acre plots of land just for potatoes and vegetables. The main method of transportation was horses-Not Cars.  In the summertime there would be a horse and buggy and, in the wintertime, there would be horse and sled! She remembers her mom canning a lot of wild berries and a very large cellar to store canned goods. There was also a lake close by that provided fish for the family. It was a hard life, but the kids never went hungry. All were cooked on a Wood burning stove and all the water came from a well. She still remembers the water as the best she has ever had!

Alma left the farm when she was 18 years old to finish school in Cold Lake, Alberta. She then moved to Edmonton to be with her older sister and find work.

In Edmonton, on an Easter Sunday, she met her husband Patrick Mckinley and they were married only 6 months after meeting. The marriage lasted for 62 years until Patrick passed in 2008. Alma and Patrick made their home in Edmonton and lived in a very small cottage (she says it was more like a shack LOL) along the Saskatchewan River. There they had their first-born son (Larry). Alma had her second born son in Cold Lake, Alberta (Dennis) while she was staying with her family as Pat was busy working to find a new home and a better job to provide for the family. They then moved to Vancouver and had saved enough money to buy a home. Alma had her 3rd son (Gerald) and 5 years later had her only daughter (Mary). The family then moved to the United States. They raised their family and worked very hard at their own businesses .. Hotel – Motel and Finally a Bar- Restaurant. It was a family business.

Alma and Patrick moved back to Canada when they retired in the 1990’s. Alma is currently the only remaining sibling in her large family. She has since lost her husband and 2 of her sons. She has 8 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren of whom she is very proud!

Alma has recently been looking back on her Métis roots and was very proud to get her Métis Citizenship Card at the age of 93.

As Alma looks back on her life she said "I have had a wonderful life and I am thankful, and feel truly blessed".

With members of her family, Mary (daughter), Christian (Mary's partner), and granddaughter Rebecca at her side to witness this very special day, MNBC staff were also present when Madame President welcomed Elder McKinley as an official Métis Citizen of the Métis Nation British Columbia and adorned Alma with her very first Sash, explaining a few of the many traditional uses of the sash and what it was used for, such as; the string to sew, men wore them around their waist folded and put fishing gear and other items in there.

Alma spoke about her Dad and how he would be proud of her and how Métis is now being recognized and how far Métis have come.

It was a proud day for everyone and President Morin Dal Col was extremely honoured to be a part of this incredible event.

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